Archive | May 2015

Does being a sinner make you above the law? Issues raised by the Josh Duggar defence.

19 kidsIn May 2015 a tabloid reported that twelve years ago Josh Duggar of TLC’s “19 Kids and Counting” reality show molested five girls twelve years ago.  When his parents found out, they refused to report the crimes to the police, even though Josh molested his own sisters.

This is, rightfully, creating a scandal and cries for TLC to cancel the programme — which as of this date they refuse to do, even with corporate sponsors pulling out.

The Duggars and their allies have a defence they use time and time again:  Josh is a sinner who needs forgiveness and is entitled to forgiveness.

If a Christian (which I am no longer) admits to sinning that this is, in essence, a free pass with the law. Josh Duggar’s family doesn’t believe that Josh should be punished because he admitted it was a sin to molest his sisters (never mind their mental/spiritual wounds here; HE is the victim). Another Quiverfull leader named Rick Boyer is repeating the same idea in a story published this morning: that since being human makes you a sinner that any efforts to prosecute these crimes is a conspiracy by pagans and “guillible christians” to destroy more godly people.

So the problem isn’t the crimes these people commit — it’s the rest of us who say that when you commit a crime THERE ARE CONSEQUENCES UNDER THE LAW.

Of course one might say that there is a fundamental belief that secular law and secular government is itself evil — the devil is in charge.

So I must ask: what are they really going for? Should we simply eliminate all secular institutions and put religious institutions in charge of our lives?

How is that any different than what people are facing in Iraq or Syria where religious extremists have replaced the law? Where heinous torture, sexual violence, and murder happen daily? Where the only religious expression or lifestyle allowed is their radical one — and if you disagree or just deviate from their harsh rules, you can expect to lose your life or worse?

Liberty only exists through secular government, through the rule of laws. Religions must not be allowed to hold the powers of life or death over anyone.

And remember if you are fine with one religious group ruling the people by their sense of what is moral or right you damn yourself to be on the receiving end of another group you disagree with. Would you want to live that way?

Why some book series should be read in the order written

Goodbye 3D

Good-bye A672E92 Quintus is chronologically the first book in the Peers of Beinan Series. However it was actually written FOURTH of the six books.

I love a great book series.  From the JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings to Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Avalon Series, I find it satisfying to stay within the same world, getting to know characters, places, and events intimately.  It’s one reason why serialized fiction is so popular and entertaining.

Like both my aforementioned literary mentors, I do not write in chronological order.  With the Legendary Women of World History series this makes sense:  each biography is a stand alone book.  The series designation signals consistency in theme and approach to historical data.  But the books themselves are not necessarily strongly connected (the exception:  Mary Queen of the Scots and Journey to Gloriana).

By contrast, the Peers of Beinan Series is much more traditional with the same cultural, historical, and environmental setting across the books.  The books were written in the following order:

  1. The Great Succession Crisis (along with its companion Data Files, now out of print).
  2. The First King
  3. The Ghosts of the Past
  4. Good-bye A672E92 Quintus (most editions integrate The First King into the text)
  5. The Poisoned Ground
  6. Princess Anyu Returns

This means that the bulk of the world building and explanations of the world building are achieved in The Great Succession Crisis and The Ghosts of the Past — much like George Lucas establishes his world building in Star Wars (A New Hope) and The Empire Strikes Back.  Viewers of Return of the Jedi and of the three prequel films are expected to know ideas like Jedi Knights and Sith Lords before viewing these films.

And so does the Peers of Beinan Series.  The result:  a chronological reading of the series as the first reading of the series is a little bit confusing.  Especially with the novellas (Good-bye A672E92 Quintus and The Poisoned Ground) I found myself not re-describing the wheel already built.  And, to risk sounding pompous, I honestly did not expect to need to do so.  These books are for young adults and adults, after all — not middle grade children like the biographies.  So I expect a higher level of education and deductive reasoning/critical thinking skills from Peers of Beinan Series readers than I do with the biographies.  After all, science fiction readers are some of the smartest and best educated of literary audiences.  As lovers of science fiction we expect our books to be factually accurate, imaginative, and thought-provoking.   We expect to be challenged intellectually and emotionally.  As a life-long science fiction fan, I wrote the books that I most want to read myself.

And so the series best makes sense when you read it in the order that I wrote it in with a chronological reading (such as you find in The Complete Series) best for the second and subsequent readings.  In that, I continue to follow the greats I love:  JRR Tolkien, Frank Herbert, George Lucas, Marion Zimmer Bradley, Dorothy “D.C.” Fontana,  J. Michael Straczynski, and Stan Lee.

Read these in the order I wrote them and i know you will love them too!

Love Conquers All: The Legendary Women of World History

romanc blogfest 2015 small banner

Welcome to RomanceFest 2015!  All month long you’ve been discovering some of the best independent romance novels available.  Most if not all of these fall into the conventional romance genres and sub-genres with spicy offerings for adults and young adults.

But romance is so much more than spice.  For me, romance took the form of ancient British legends and fairy tales.  King Arthur and his love for Queen Guinevere.  Robin Hood and his devotion to Marion.  Cinderella.  Beauty and the Beast.  These are the great romance stories, stories we share with our families from almost the cradle.  These are the timeless stories.

Boudicca:  Britain's Queen of the IceniCatherine de ValoisMary Queen of the Scots web

The Legendary Women of World History Series explores the lives of women who really lived as accurately as primary sources, reliable secondary sources, and supporting social sciences allow us to know and understand them.  These are true role models whose examples are worth emulating, women of great courage, conviction, and faith who fought for what is right instead of what was convenient.  Women who loved deeply and open-heartedly.

Begin your romantic journey through time with Boudicca:  Britain’s Queen of the Iceni.  Available for kindle, Nook, and your favourite devices plus paperback and audio editions you will meet the real woman behind the legend, experiencing Boudicca’s love for her people, her husband King Prasutagus, and her twin daughters.

Next flash forward to the Hundred Years War and the famous life and loves of Princess Catherine de Valois.  A younger daughter of King Charles VI of France, Catherine grew up terrorized by her father’s violent mental illness to become the excuse King Henry V of England needed to wage his war with France and his famous victory at the Battle of Agincourt.  In “Henry V” by William Shakespeare you meet a giddy Catherine wooed by King Henry.  The real story is quite different and much more interesting.  Discover the life and loves of Princess Catherine in this fascinating true story of love conquering all things.  Now available in audio edition narrated by Richard Mann.

Learn more about Catherine’s love story:

Enter to win a free copy of Catherine de Valois! Winners announced 31st of May 2015

Mary Queen of the Scots webFinally meet one of the most intriguing and poorly understood women of all time:  Queen Mary Stuart.  The granddaughter of King James IV of Scotland and Princess Margaret Tudor, Queen Mary dared to marry for love with consequences still being felt today.  Meet the real woman you thought you knew in this beautiful story of courage, love, and daring to do what is right even when it is unpopular.

Best of all:  these romances are completely family friendly and suitable for both you and your children.

Forget the fairy tales!  Get inspired and inspire your children with the best love stories of all — the ones that are absolutely true!

Character Profile: Bensin

Today’s character profile is Bensin from Annie Douglass Lima’s latest book, The Collar and the Cavvarach!

Collar CavvarchCharacter Name: Bensin

Character’s date of birth: November 1, 140

Place of birth: City of Jarreon

Book appearing in: The Collar and the Cavvarach

Profile: Bensin is a 14-year-old slave.  He’s skilled in a tricky martial art called cavvara shil, and he competes in tournaments to earn prize money for his owner.  His goal is to help his little sister Ellie escape from her life of slavery and abuse.

Primary genre: Middle Grade

Content rating: G
Does your book contain any content that promotes a religion or could be construed as promoting a religion by someone of a different faith?: Definitely not

Connect Annie Douglas Lima on twitter.